I walk into work on Monday evening with a positive outlook for the shift. Monday nights are usually busy, and smooth.
The day shift is excited to see us, they are ready to go home by this point. I check the station chart for my section and see that two of my tables are occupied by parties from the lunch server. If the hot food has hit the table prior to transition, the day server can keep the table. One table has almost finished eating, the other will be a transfer. Mary, the day shift who has both tables, wants to go home.
"Come on, Sarah, please take table 46! I really want to leave and they already have their food so it's like free money."
"Mary, they are regulars that I can't stand. The old lady is mean and as much as I love you, I do not want to take them."
"Please, Sarah, I'll love you forever and ever!"
I sigh and give in. I really do dislike this table, but If the situation was reversed and I wanted to leave, I'd ask for the same. Mary has both tables transferred, and then she goes to introduce me to the other table she had in my section. They are two nice girls and we chat for a moment as I establish some repoire. The mean couple at 46 are still eating their meal. Not even 30 seconds go by before I hear:
I stop, mid-sentence to the girls, and look. The lady at 46 is looking at me and waving her arms like there is a fire.
I go over to them. Half of the steak they were sharing is still on the plate. The lady gives me an annoyed loo and gestures at the plates of half finished food.
"We're finished. Get these plates off of the table. We want to order dessert."
I suck down the myriad of curse words stuck in my throat, apologize, and clear the plates and mark the table for dessert.
Later, when I drop the check, the woman has mercifully gone to the restroom so I don't have to look at her. It was rather embarrassing for me to be called out while at another table. The man pays the bill, and they leave.
The two girls at my other table tell me that when I walked away to get the dessert, the old man looked pissed. He asked the lady why she had to talk to me like that.
Mary, I love working with you, but I'm not taking those people from you ever again.